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Bear farms in China

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HONG KONG (Reuters) -- China pledged on Monday to rescue 500 bears held in cages for their bile as a first step in wiping out the age-old practice, Chinese researchers and Western activists said.

Bile is extracted for its healing powers and ending the practice means the rare Asiatic black bears will be freed from a life trapped in tiny cages, Huang Jian Hua of the China Wildlife Conservation Association said.

The 500 are among 7,000 captive bears on 247 bear bile farms in China, Huang said.

Bear bile has been harvested for thousands of years in Asia and is believed to be useful in treating fever, liver illnesses and sore eyes. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners say there are herbs that serve the same purposes as bear bile.

Huang said China's move underscored the urgent need to help other endangered bears held in Asian countries such as South Korea and Vietnam.

Under an agreement between China and Hong Kong-based Animals Asia Foundation (AAF), 500 captive bears in China's central Sichuan province will be rehabilitated and placed in a sanctuary in Ziyang city over the next five years, Huang said.

"As one can expect, the living conditions in these farms are often disturbing. Therefore there is a pressing need for us to rescue the bears from these farms," Huang told reporters.

The program will be extended to other parts of China over the next 10 years.

Caged for life

The practice came to light in 1993 after AAF founder Jill Robinson found bears incarcerated in tiny cages in bear bile farms in China's Sichuan province. The bears had been there since they were cubs.

Many were lying stomach down in cages barely high enough for them to raise their heads and spent their waking hours biting the iron grills or banging their heads against them.

Surgically implanted with catheters, the bears are kept in the prone position so bile can be extracted twice a day, 50 milliliters each time.

In a recent officially sanctioned visit to 11 bear farms in Sichuan, Robinson saw bears kept in cages with punch holes instead of iron grills.

"It's a lifetime of confinement and pain, one had lived like that for 21 years," Robinson told Reuters.

Once a lucrative business

Bear bile, long harvested in Asia for traditional medical uses, finds its way into Chinese products like these

Bear bile farms began in the 1980s in Asia after North Korea developed the method of bile tapping with catheters.

China quickly adopted the practice thinking it would reduce the number of bears killed in the wild for their bile.

The industry in China mushroomed in the early 1990s when the number of captive bears hit 10,000 in 480 bear farms.

It was also then that bear bile prices rocketed to $2,418 per kilogram. With the advent of synthetic bear bile and greater awareness of the inhumane method of harvesting, the price has since plunged.

Chinese farmers, who blame the low prices for their ill-kept animals, will be given retraining after they give up their farms. More responsible farmers will be given compensation, Huang said.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/07/24/...reut/index.html :cry:

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Although this is horrible, there is one good thing about it. Atleast they are not poaching them.

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There is not a more apitizing meal than

a big ol' bowl of bear bile.

But seriously this kind of stuff should

end.

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Could we not have free-range bear bile? ^_^

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I think I'd find this less disturbing if it served some actual purpose. As cruel as the meat industry can be, at least when they confine birds or calves they actuallt do produce more meat and taste better..

These bears are being tortured for an industry that produces medicine that has no value medically, and that's pretty disturbing..

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Actually one of the chemicals in bear bile actually does have a therapeutic effect on some conditions. Ursodeoxycholic acid is what its called and it can be synthesized without killing any bears.

The treatment of the bears is disgusting.

This is one of the most hideous examples of human mistreatment of life on this planet. They have a metal cage locked around its body and have a catheter running tino its gall bladder which they then drain, sometimes even twice a day.

linked-image

Edited by carini

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Although this is horrible, there is one good thing about it. Atleast they are not poaching them.

You'd rather spend years in a cage with a pipe stuck in your gut rather than be poached, or have a chance of avoiding being poached?

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It is just sad how we treat animals. I hope, if there are higher forms or life out there, they have devloped a better set of ethics than we have.

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Next time some PETA jackass gets bent out of shape by a few lab rats, tehy should get a ticket to China. That's disturbing, and I'm a carnivore! I suddenly have an urge to get a salad.................

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Next time some PETA jackass gets bent out of shape by a few lab rats, tehy should get a ticket to China. That's disturbing, and I'm a carnivore! I suddenly have an urge to get a salad.................

Jackass doesn't come close to describing PETA (they kill animals to make others look worse and have have many of its members tried for animal cruelty)

Unfortuantly the treatment of wildlife in China is appalling, it seems culturally ingrained to mistreat these animals due a lakc of education in animal welfare and in caring for their environment.

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You'd rather spend years in a cage with a pipe stuck in your gut rather than be poached, or have a chance of avoiding being poached?

It would either be extinction or animal abuse. You can always stop animal abuse, but once it's extinct you can't do anything about it.

Next time some PETA jackass gets bent out of shape by a few lab rats, tehy should get a ticket to China. That's disturbing, and I'm a carnivore! I suddenly have an urge to get a salad.................

China is also a communist country. Not even PETA is that stupid. Or I could be wrong. I can't stand PETA.

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It would either be extinction or animal abuse. You can always stop animal abuse, but once it's extinct you can't do anything about it.

China is also a communist country. Not even PETA is that stupid. Or I could be wrong. I can't stand PETA.

No they are not, they just claim to be, there is a huge difference.

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i hope this happens:

raaaaaaar bear get out eat people.

people stop bear farming :devil::rofl:

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Here is another wonderful picture.

linked-image

Small and restrictive just the way any captive animal loves being kept.

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i hope this happens:

raaaaaaar bear get out eat people.

people stop bear farming :devil::rofl:

Yeah me too, would serve em right, even better bear gets out and bites em first then locks them in the cage! see how they like it.

That last picture is just appalling, i feel shocked after seeing that, sooo cruel :(

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This is really just another example of how un evolved humans can be. I mean, think about, we still have WARS for crying out loud! We really haven't become that civilized over the years have we?

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This is really just another example of how un evolved humans can be. I mean, think about, we still have WARS for crying out loud! We really haven't become that civilized over the years have we?

I believe civilised is a far more accurate word than evolved.

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